Trash Cans Back in Parks

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission announced that it has completely restored trash cans to county parks after a failed experiment known as Carry In, Carry Out was implemented nearly two years ago.

In December 2003 and January 2004, the commission removed trash cans from all neighborhood, local, stream valley and conservation parks in Montgomery County "to save money and promote environmental stewardship for the parks," said commission Chairman Derick P. Berlage.

The plan worked in some parks but failed in those that are heavily used. In May, the County Council voted unanimously to restore trash cans and make maintenance more timely.

Waste Sites Staying Open

The county's solid waste drop-off sites in Damascus and Poolesville will remain open over Thanksgiving weekend, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

Both sites accept residential loads of up to 499 pounds; neither accepts commercial waste. The Damascus site is at 26149 Ridge Rd.; the Poolesville site is at 19200 Jerusalem Rd. For

more information, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/solidwaste.

Literacy Tutors Meeting

The Literacy Council of Montgomery County will host an orientation for literacy tutors at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Free. Wheaton Library, 11701 Georgia Ave., Wheaton. 301-942-9292 or www.literacycouncilmcmd.org.

Flu Vaccination Clinics Set

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services will hold flu vaccination clinics for children younger than 18, provided supplies last, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. next Thursday at the Dennis Avenue Health Center, 2000 Dennis Ave., Silver Spring; and from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Germantown Health Center, 12900 Middlebrook Rd., Germantown.

"We were able to provide more than 2,000 flu vaccinations to county residents in the past several weeks," said Ulder Tillman, the county's health officer. "For those who have been unable to get a vaccination so far this season, there are basic hygiene practices, such as frequent hand washing and covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve, that can help prevent the spread of flu or other contagious illnesses."

For more information, call 240-777-1050.

Drug Benefit Information

Montgomery County is offering information on Medicare's new prescription drug program through its Senior Health Insurance Counseling Program. Seniors and people with disabilities who are on Medicare, as well as their caregivers, can call 301-590-2819 for more information.

Beginning Jan. 1, prescription drug coverage will be available to anyone with Medicare.

Those who seek help through the county program should have the following information: a list of prescriptions, including the retail cost and dosage; name and location of pharmacy; and details about any insurance policies in addition to Medicare, including Medicare supplemental policies.

-- Compiled by ARUNA JAIN